After one of the busiest fall semesters in recent memory, Colorado Mountain College -- Alpine Campus officials are gearing up for an equally busy spring.
Enrollment numbers for students taking core credit classes rose 8 percent last semester, and that number could continue to rise with about 100 new students expected to enroll for the spring semester, Assistant Campus Dean of Student Services Brian Hoza said on Tuesday.
"It should be just as busy (as fall semester)," Hoza said. "We expect enrollment to stay at least as strong."
Welcoming 100 new students in the coming weeks would constitute a 30 percent increase over typical mid-year enrollee numbers, Hoza said.
Campus officials will spend much of next week working out course schedules, residence hall assignments and other issues that go hand in hand with full enrollment.
"We're having to fine-tune room usage and the scheduling matrix," Hoza said.
But the situation isn't new to the school. Campus dorms were booked three people to a room for a period this summer, and officials extended the academic week through Friday afternoon to meet scheduling demands. Many students were told to attend another Colorado Mountain College campus and to attempt to transfer to the Alpine Campus in January.
Still, the first semester was a positive one, Hoza said. The school offered more courses than it had in the past, and the student body was more diverse and well-rounded, which resulted in increased student organization participation, he said.
The campus also hired several faculty and staff members in the months leading up to the start of the fall semester, including Assistant Dean of Instruction Lance Eldridge. Campus Dean Robert Ritschel said the turnover was the most he's seen during his three-year tenure.
"We had a real strong semester," Hoza said. "It was a great group of students."
He expects an equally strong spring semester.
"We're real optimistic about the second half of the year," he said.
The spike in enrollment is being attributed to several factors, including tuition increases at most other higher education institutions and a guaranteed credit transfer rule that helps students ensure credit hours earned at one school transfer to another school.
Hoza said Alpine Campus is continuing to make adjustments to its schedule to offer as many guaranteed transfer core courses as possible.
But that demand must be balanced with community interest in self-enrichment courses, he said.
Registration for the spring semester begins Monday, followed by a new student orientation Jan. 8. Classes begin Jan. 12.
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